Uniting the Diocese of Derby during the Covid-19 pandemic Issue 3 - July 2020
Bishopâ€™s Badge Meet the first online recipient
The Church in action
stories from chaplaincies and foodbanks
Church schools during lockdown signs of faith, hope and love
News Churches allowed to reopen for worship from 4 July
On 23 June 2020, the Government announced that from 4 July 2020 churches may reopen for public worship, provided that physical distancing measures are in place. This does not represent a return to normality overnight, but is the next step on the journey. Detailed advice will be made available for parishes to enable them to prepare to hold services when it is safe and practical to do so. It is important to say that the change in government guidance is permissive, not prescriptive. The House of Bishops endorsed a statement made by the Bishop of London on behalf of its Recovery Group. Churches that are not fully ready by July 4th should not feel any obligation to rush to restart public worship. For clergy who have been shielding, the House agreed that personal safety should continue to be prioritised and that duties could still be performed remotely. Where churches may not be able to open for a long period, for this or other reasons, bishops stand ready to agree with the minister and parochial church council a dispensation from the legal requirement to hold services. The House welcomed clarification from the Government that a limit of 30 people in total applied to weddings, and that numbers for worship would differ depending on the context.
Dean-designate virtual licensing
The Venerable Dr Peter Robinson will be licensed as Assistant Curate of the parish of All Saints, to be known as Dean-designate of Derby, on Saturday 4th July, by the Bishop of Derby. The licensing will take place via Zoom because of the current rules on conducting church services, and will formally allow Dr Robinson to begin work from 4th July onwards, taking a full part in the life and ministry of Derby Cathedral as it reopens its doors. Dr Robinson’s collation as Dean of Derby will become an important milestone in that process and is provisionally set for 19th July at 4 pm: it will be livestreamed from the Cathedral.
Ordinations hoped for Michaelmas
Like so many other facets of life at the moment, ordinations this year will have a different look to them. It would normally be at this time of year – at Petertide – that Bishop Libby would ordain new deacons to start them in their ministry, but current circumstances mean it has not been possible to do that. Instead, the new deacons-to-be will first be licenced as Lay Workers on Sunday, 5 July. This will enable them to start working in (or at least, for) their parishes, and the hope is that that they will be ordained as deacons – and the current deacons ordained as priests - at Michaelmas. Dates are yet to be arranged and we cannot say yet if the ordination services can happen in the cathedral, as usual, or with different arrangements. For now, though, please pray for Rachael Brooks, Catrin Hubbard, Nicola McNally, Sharon Murphy, Malcolm Pyatt, Kate Smedley, Sandra Till and Alan Winfield. Pray that they will be encouraged as they start on this transitional phase in what we hope will be a long and fruitful ministry, offering their service to the Church.
The Archdeacon of Derby writes... We missed out on Easter this year. Or rather, Easter was different. It happened and was real – the truth of the Resurrection can’t take a year off – but we had to approach it from a different angle. Someone else who missed out on Easter was St Thomas, whose feast day falls on 3 July. I feel a certain affinity with St Thomas. Thirty seven years ago I was ordained deacon in Derby Cathedral on St Thomas’s Day and, exactly a year later, celebrated the eucharist for the first time in the Crooked Spire in Chesterfield. At a time when the church seemed less timid about radical theological enquiry, Doubting Thomas wasn’t a bad role model! Pope Gregory the Great wrote of Thomas, ‘Our faith owes more to the faithlessness of Thomas than to the faithfulness of all the other apostles put together.’ By that he meant that Thomas’s missed opportunity, in doubting what his fellow-disciples tell him, leads to a more definite statement of the truth of the Resurrection, and so gives us a better opportunity to believe, although we have not seen in the same way. A later theologian, Ronald Knox, put it inimitably like this: Our Lord doesn’t complain. Our Lord wasn’t like us, he didn’t go about after his resurrection finding fault and saying “I told you so”; he looked forward to the future. He looked down the centuries at people like you and me, who had no chance, of seeing him in his incarnate state, and yet do manage to cry out, My Lord and my God; and he said, “What lucky people you are!” Signs of the Resurrection are all around us, if we care to look for them. Appropriately enough, one of them is St Thomas’s Church at Peartree in Derby. Not only is it physically coming to new life with the restoration of its glorious interior; it is spreading new life in one of the neediest parts of Derby, both through its active community engagement with a wide range of partners and the founding of the St Thomas’ Community, a new monastic community. Curiously enough, there is a personal connection here, too – the church was dedicated as a memorial to one of my predecessors as Archdeacon of Derby, Thomas Hill, who was also Vicar of Chesterfield. ‘Surprises keep us living’, wrote the poet Louis MacNeice. As we continue to navigate our way through challenging times, let us be prepared to be surprised by signs of the Resurrection. Christopher The Ven Dr Christopher Cunliffe, Archdeacon of Derby
Signs of faith, hope and love in our schools
Dr Alison Brown, acting director of education, writes: At the end of April, I asked all 111 of our Church schools to send me anything that they considered to be a sign of faith, hope and love. I kept hearing snippets of news of the sorts of things schools were doing to support the children and families in their care. I wanted to build a montage to give an overview of the wonderful work that is going on in our Church schools that is evidence of some aspect of faith, hope and love. Those snippets of news changed to a large and deeply humbling, encouraging and inspiring catalogue of creative and compassionate ways of showing God’s love. On top of having to cope with new ways of living and working during the pandemic with all the added stress and demands, our school leaders and staff were finding ways of serving their school community so all could flourish. They were tapping into their Christian vision and finding new ways to express it. This has continued to the present time. As lockdown measures lift and schools are able to welcome back more pupils into the building, they are paying great attention to helping children feel safe, welcomed and secure. This is evident from one of our infant schools using rainbows on the floor to mark out social distancing. The head teacher was concerned about the possibility of how sterile and scary school environments could become. A member of staff came up with the idea of rainbow markings which of course are much more time consuming to mark out than the usual 2m stickers but “This is a familiar symbol to children and will help them to see that these markings are there because we love and care for one another…‘Follow the rainbow road’”. So, thank you to all our school leaders and staff for being and showing signs of faith, hope and love.
Learning in Faith ... online Learning in Faith courses had to be postponed due to the pandemic however in July we are proud to be bringing two of the courses directly to your home! Sarah Brown, Diocese of Derby Children’s Advisor will be running two courses (1 hour each): “Unexpected child in the Church Area!” “Love your local schools” Monday 13 July, 11am - 12pm Monday 20 July, 11am - 12pm >> Book your free place >> Book your free place For more information on Learning in Faith, visit www.derby.anglican.org/training,
Church schools during lockdown - a reflection For church schools, one of the biggest challenges they have faced, aside the logistical problems of maintaining social distancing, has been not being able to hold daily, wholeschool, collective worship. This is a part of the school day that is at the heart of their school community. Karen Scrivens, the head teacher at Langley Mill CofE Infant School & Nursery said, “We have had to be very creative in order to continue delivering our special collective worship times within the confines of our school ‘bubbles’ and home learning. Before the restrictions, music would welcome the children and staff, and set the tone for the worship and there would be a real sense of togetherness. “Collective worship is a very special and distinct part of the school day and I have really missed it. However, we have used special poems, stories, drawings, photographs and anecdotes both in school and online to help us continue daily worship and reflect on our core values: Aspire, Learn, Respect and Serve. Throughout we have remembered our school vision to ‘Always be our best for God, each other and ourselves.” Karen said that the school has also had to be quite innovative in finding ways to seek full engagement of all families whilst learning at home. She said: “We have had to be creative in our approach to reaching families within the home by increasing our
social media and online profile and opening up new communication channels whilst also ensuring that families have been supported with resources to complete activities.” The good news is that there are many positives to come out of the lockdown experience. Although having to split classes into smaller bubbles and still deliver quality education both in school and at home has been no easy task, Karen is rightly proud of the way the whole school community has united to problem-solve, adapt and change. She said: “Staff have no doubt increased their IT skills and have planned very carefully to meet the needs of pupils during this unknown time, in ageappropriate and sensitive ways. The children have all adapted brilliantly and my whole staff team has been amazing. They have gone over and beyond expectations, with lots of praise from parents and governors”. Karen’s only great disappointment is that the school will be unable to bid its traditional farewell to the Year 2 pupils who are about to move on. “Usually,” said Karen, “the end of the infant journey is a special time for our school, marked by a very poignant celebration and church visit. This is not possible in these times but we will still send our year twos off with a special goodbye.”
Bishop’s Badge goes online
Pippa, a Year 6 pupil at South Darley Church of England Primary School has become the first online recipient of a Bishop’s Badge award. The presentation was made at the school, with Pippa’s family and Bishop Libby joining via Zoom. Pippa, who has been through a number of difficult times, was nominated by her school. Head teacher Paul Wilde said that Pippa had held her head high, carried herself with dignity and remained positive throughout her challenging journey. As he handed the award to Pippa on behalf of Bishop Libby, Mr Wilde said: “You value others, see the best in people and in life around you, and we are really proud of you. “You are totally deserving of this award.” He described her as “always kind to people, always smiling and always tries her best”. Bishop Libby, who spoke to Pippa and her class on the video call, said: “We honour that Christian characteristic that you have embodied through your years at South Darley. “We recognise the work of God in you and that you tell us something of Jesus. “I hope that the badge and certificate will help remind you of just how well people regard you.” Bishop’s Badge looks a little different this year because of the constraints of social distancing. The schools awards for 2020 have been limited to pupils in Year 6 who are about to move on to senior school and the presentations are being made on line. The Bishop’s Badge awards to adults will also take place virtually, later in the year, focussing on exceptional contributions to mission and ministry during the lockdown.
Chesterfield Foodbank The team at Chesterfield Foodbank has been working hard to ensure that people in financial crisis can still receive support during these challenging times. By employing additional, appropriate hygiene and social distancing measures, it has been able to ensure that distribution centres in Brimington, Chesterfield town centre, and Loundsley Green have been able to continue to serve clients. For the duration of lockdown, and while vulnerable people need to self isolate, the team has set up a delivery service for those clients who are not able to attend at a centre. We have also begun a trial opening of a new centre at St Barnabas Church in New Whittington, meaning that people from this area do not need to travel as far to collect food. Donations of food have inevitably slowed, but thanks to generous supporters providing financial donations we have been able to source and purchase food to ensure that we have enough food supplies to serve our clients. Due to strict social distancing measures, we have not been able to discuss and explore additional sources of support for clients, and the current distanced method of handing over food is less personal. We are looking forward to being able to provide a more pleasant, welcoming experience to clients again in the future once it is safe to reduce some of the precautions that we currently need to have in place.
Bakewell virtual well blessings Revd Canon Tony Kaunhoven writes: How to be creative and continue to serve our community has been one of the challenges to us as the Church during the last three months - and as the four benefice well-dressing occasions were inevitably cancelled, God posed a challenge. So as they are an important opportunity for community cohesion and collaboration, can I offer something to acknowledge peopleâ€™s contribution and work over the years in their creativity, and something to draw the community together during lockdown? A virtual well blessing continues thanksgiving to God for the water of life, celebrates previous well dressing designs, offers prayer and praise and invites representatives from the community to offer prayer and a blessing at the site of the village and town wells or source of water in the community. The response to the first one, Ashford in the Water, has been very positive and Bakewell, Over Haddon and Rowsleyâ€™s took place over the weekend of 26/27 June. For Ashfordâ€™s, look at YouTube https://youtu.be/LKIAw15bo48 or A Church Near You Ashford in the Water, Holy Trinity. The other three are on www.bakewellchurch.org.uk. It has been hard work to put together, but well worth it.
Sometimes WE JUST NEED TO BE 8
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BY SOMEONE WHO WILL
listen Chaplaincy in action during Covid Voluntary workplace chaplaincy is a growing movement in Derbyshire, with more than 150 chaplains from many denominations serving in 15 locations across 15 sectors. Here are stories of the church in action in the community, as our chaplains respond to the invitation to engage in faithful and fruitful ministry. GP surgery Chaplains have supported staff and patients at a GP surgery in Ilkeston in the Erewash Primary Care Network. Soon, there will be chaplains in all 13 Erewash surgeries. One GP said: “These are very stressful times for everyone, but I am excited about the GP chaplaincy opportunities. God is sovereign in all these things. A retired GP who has been praying for our chaplains every week since they started asked how they and we as a team are doing so I shared feedback from patients. It has been really encouraging, my favourite quote is, ‘Thanks for asking the chaplain to phone me. I didn’t realise what a heavy burden I was carrying until it had been lifted.’” Hospital wards Hospitals in Ashbourne, Clay Cross, Ilkeston and Ripley created a new post of ward volunteer to liaise between patients and relatives, provide pastoral care and support staff. One Chaplain said: “I was apprehensive, but I was given excellent training. The patients cannot have visitors so the opportunity to chat about their family and concerns has been a pleasure.
“I’ve met some extraordinary people, and every day has been different but I always leave the ward inspired by the patients and the hardworking staff. “I was once explaining to a patient I couldn’t move her as, ‘I am only a volunteer,’ to which the nurse said, ‘Never say that, you are not only a volunteer, you are very important here.’ I was deeply touched by that comment and am so thankful I agreed to this role.” A patient’s daughter wrote to a ward volunteer: “You lifted Mum’s spirits when we were unable to see her. At times she was so low we wondered whether she would have any reserves to pull through but to know you were there caring and supporting her and liaising with us, was so appreciated by the family. For her to hear our messages and see the photos you printed off brought us closer to her as she knew we were there and missing her.” One matron wants ward volunteers to continue in the future because they get on with what is needed, are interactive with patients and have the experience and skills to effectively support patients and their families as well as integrate with ward staff.
Our Diocese Together - July 2020